Wrath of Man: critics who ask for more


On June 16, 2021, the darkroom will host a more quirky chatty host than meets the eye. Stathamerie between the contents of this comedian career, a real exercise in sobriety on the part of its director, a more ambitious rereading than one would think of an excellent French film … and if an angry man is the most joint venture great Jason Statham and Guy Ritchie ?

Jason Statham and Guy Ritchie’s latest collaboration, titled Revolver, sounds like he’s drunk. Arty’s hallucinations being drunk on himself, whose arrogance is only offset by the capillary sinking experienced by the actor, this outburst on the run symbolically seals the aspirations and boundaries of the two men. Nearly two decades later, the former has become one of the visible action stars, but is relentlessly threatened with anachronisms, as the latter has embodied, to the point of self-parody, a certain experimental undertone of the 2010 blockbuster.

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Hence two artists simultaneously developed and acclaimed, strong and always on the verge of exiting the road (or hitting the ball, it goes) who find themselves reimagining Nicolas Boukhrief’s The Conveyor. A few months ago, we found the filmmaker sober, tired and happy with The Gentlemen, where the frenzy of his debut took a more bitter and sly tone. A transformation that continues with An Angry Man, where Ritchie actually abandons mocking kindness from the start to tell a story of explosive revenge.

At first glance, we can’t tell if the camera is off or has calmed down. The kaleidoscopic journey has disappeared, colorimetry has been forged, there are no operators trying to attack characters with fixed camera shots, and editing is never forgotten with demonstrative, hollow, or haphazard effects. Accelerated cocaine as well as “bold” photography experiments are no longer in the game. However, from its opening, and even more so during the first third pegged to Jason Statham’s body, the director remembers us in the best way.

Not because he’s going to give in to the sometimes under-stylish sirens of post-John Wick action cinema, or try to set foot in a nostalgic vibe in search of an over-virilized icon, but also because it’s new, the grammar is just there to take the pulse of the character. In this case, H, the silent giant and novice fundraiser, is driven by a desire to fight anyone who gets close to his vehicle. Married to the cold rage she animates, Ritchie opts for a longer shot, whose rare coquetries are never randomly distilled and signal, announce, or accompany a recall.

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As a result, his spurious lethargy quickly turns into a muffled threat, which fits perfectly into the main player’s play, never better than when he can hold off a dog. The results are immediate. Not a single sequence explodes in An angry man, whose daring resolution permeates every frame. Programmed, applied, just like a good ball shot, the film is stunning but when it chooses to almost completely cut the bridge with its model.

Far from the gooey and surreal atmosphere of the film in which Albert Dupontel led, it’s not a question here to explore the gaping guilt of a man seeking redemption. On the other hand, H, as he gradually revealed himself, was not a gloomy person who wanted to play on par with the sharks. As the film’s violence becomes drier, more amoral, and radical, the protagonist reveals himself for what he is: a super-predator, whose motives tend to fade behind his primary desire to spread a tidal wave of raw violence around him.

Instead of playing pure adrenaline or a form of euphoria in a piss-off distribution, the footage instead embraces the seriousness inherent in Statham, its mineral dimension at its most compelling. So, it’s our empathy that’s at stake. How can we preserve it for a terrible, inhuman being like H? A man who was clearly superior to the game he was in? This film sets up a very beautiful answer, which will make us question the meaning of the title.

Perhaps for the first time in his career, Ritchie openly questions the issue of violence, but also the conflict that runs through his character. If the first half hour runs a very beautiful, progressive and unavoidable pressure rise, the representation of brutality thrives.

After the first shooting, a series of fixed and surgical shots, frankly observing cervical damage and other ballistic mutilations, left byour heroes behind it. The ferocity then still completely occupies the frame, while the unexpected distraction of this full-frame death represents a thoroughly satisfying explosion of molten lead. But An Angry Man doesn’t just hear us scattering our retinas with lazy entertainment that will gently tease nostalgia for weathered daddy action.

When the scenario operates 180°, to explain or reveal a certain second knife he keeps in front of him, Guy Ritchie diverts his anger and consequences. In the end, it will no longer be a question of searching for a man who dreams of a vengeful sword, but some, and some clashing anger.

If Jason Statham, a little brown bear who recently graduated from Welsh rendering university, ends up taking over this desperate plot, the film takes time to realize a series of thwarted ambitions or destiny. They inevitably push this big film blast down the shore of unexpected bitterness. An orientation that takes a pill for a while to get through a story that sometimes lets itself happen to be too big for a good balance (to believe that the world of ultra-violent heists is more of a vermouth-focused family of kin than underworld criminals).

Therefore, we regret that the epilogue does not fulfill all its promises. Not only does it never really take advantage of the great atmosphere filtered by the 2.39 format (the same one Ritchie uses to tell his take on Arthurian myth), but it also returns to a predictable track, which partially drains the viewer’s emotional journey. as the main character. Blame the far from applauding antagonists with a welcoming cast of Jeffrey Donovan, Holt McCallany, Josh Hartnett or hard-hitting Andy Garcia.

The mixed conclusion is all the more frustrating as it once again asserts that the filmmaker can either be his worst enemy when he sees himself writing or complacently abandons control of his narrative.